Five artists have selected ‘insects’ as the theme for their work displayed at an exhibition at the Viet Nam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies.
Entitled Côn Trùng (Insect), the exhibition features installations made of iron, paperboard, foam and coal.
The artists, Yen Nang, Pham Thi Hong Sam, Ha Huy Muoi, Le Duc Hung and Nguyen Manh Hung, present new concepts, ideas and methods in sculpture through their pieces. It seems they all want to escape the traditional concept of sculpture in creating 3D shapes.
Yen Nang is a visual artist. At the exhibition he shows his latest work combining iron and coal. The terrible forest fire in the central province of Ha Tinh left him deeply heartbroken so he went to the burned forest and picked up dried branches to make his work.
"I don't distinguish art from life," said Nang. "I always take advantage of available material around me to create my art."
Nang's Con Đường Côn Trùng 1 (Insect Road No1) is made from burned branches from Hong Linh Mountain in Ha Tinh. Con Đường Côn Trùng 2, 3 and Con Đường Côn Trùng 4 are created with charcoal from intentionally-burned pieces of wood.
Artist Sam presents her 2D sculpture and a series of sculptures. Sam was inspired by the diversity of the insect world to make four pieces entitled Bọ (Bug) and eight titled Côn Trùng (Insect).
"Every year, along with the list of endangered species, scientists also announce a lot of newly discovered creatures," said Sam. "The bugs and the insects in my pieces are created with many strange shapes and are unlike ordinary insects. They may be a real species awaiting discovery."
Under the eyes of artist Muoi, sometimes an insect is tiny but has more destructive power than a rhino. His method is exaggerating and making his insects both familiar and strange.
He thinks that people are always afraid of something that they don't know well or something that is too small or two big.
"Insects often bring about that insecurity," said Muoi. "Like all species, the insect has its own role in nature. But many people think it is harmful or disgusting."
For more than a year, artist Hung has studied the behaviour of ants and has noticed the social characteristics of this species. In this exhibition, he arranges his ant colony with both queens and worker ants to express the social relations of ants as complex as human society.
He uses iron pieces welded together.
Hung Dingo (Le Duc Hung) uses insects to reveal social truths. His sculpture is improvisational and free which is made up of bending iron and barbed wire.
His Bộ Não (Brain) features strange insects attacking a human brain. The piece represents the difficulty in controlling the flow of fake information in modern life.
The work shows the invasion of harmful and misleading information that makes people lose faith.
The exhibition runs till September 11 at 32 Hao Nam Street.